18 Jul, 2023 @ 10:30
1 min read

Extreme weather brutalises melon and watermelon harvest in Spain’s Costa Blanca and Valencia areas

Droughts and hailstorms cause 50% drop in melon and watermelon harvest in Spain's Costa Blanca and Valencia area
Image by Stephanie Albert from Pixabay

FARMING UNION, Unio Llaudadora, says extreme weather has forced a 50% fall in this year’s melon and watermelon harvest in the Valencian Community.

The union calculates €44 million in losses caused by adverse weather events with watermelon producers missing out on €27 million.

Above average temperatures during the planting season accelerated plant growth and at the same time limited the setting of the first fruits.

Subsequently, intermittent rains in May and June together with mild temperatures caused many melons to be spoiled.

June’s hailstorms also affected large melon producing areas, especially in the Riberas del Xuquer.

Unio Llaudadora says the watermelon harvest will ‘barely’ exceed 35,000 tons, which represents a fall of 52% compared 2022 and 63% of the average of the last 15 harvests.

Melons will come in at over 17,000 tons- down by 53% on the previous harvest and 62% of the average over the last 15 years.

71% of the Valencia region’s melons are grown in Alicante province, while 57% of watermelons are cultivated in Valencia province.

Scarcity means higher prices with melon and watermelon producers getting 60% more than last year, but they say that does not compensate for the reduced crops because production costs are on average 20% higher.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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